Gotta be one of the primo weekends to skate a fly at dusk or dawn or both, except for the low water (which restricts effective time of day to fish). Once it starts risin' some of us will wish for low water again! I know that once those fall caddis shucks are on the shore rocks I know that summer runs will be susceptible to a well-presented fly, even in low water.
Man I'd love to be on the Upper Hoh if it's still open. I have a grudge to settle with a big wild chrome summer buck way up in the park. He ate thru my maxima tippet after reminding me what "real" fish can do on the end of a line. It was the summer run equivalent of the big Skagit fish I lost with Andre and Ed Ward one April.
Our good friend Capt.Todd Murphy (striper guide and casting instructor) is going to be out fishing the Deschutes with Nathan Keen of Avid Angler fame sometime this fall. I hope he finds the storied Columbia record returns willing to take his flies. Eric Bigler reports a very busy season, hope to hear more from him when he comes back from sagebrush canyons to tell tales of leaping steelhead.
On the flip side, we have a fellow steelhead schnauzer visiting the salty east coast scene this fall. Howzer will be hooking up with us again before his flight back from Woods Hole.
Reports I've caught from the Skeena country were a little less than promising due to high muddy water and concentration of angler's attention on certain stretches known to remain fishable. I'd still consider it a privilege to go though, speaking for myself of course.
For those who are into recreational steelheading, the Cowlitz is loaded with fish and I'll bet that a float trip from Barrier to Blue, or Blue to Massey would put a bend or two or three in the Spey rod this weekend. We found it to be quiet with hunting, salmon season open, and other things to distract the average outdoorsman - good for summer run fly guys!
If anyone has the opportunity and it's convenient, I wonder if someone could take a peek at Horseshoe pool in Palmer Kanasket State Park on the Green - preferably from the overlook at the bluff-top tree after crossing at the top of the pool... to see if the usual 200 summer fish are stacked in that hole, as usual. Although you have to find the biters, I catch lots of fish out of that pool by the following strategy - camp overnight and fish from dawn to 8am when the ranger opens the gate to the public, or else park outside the gate and ride a bike down at dawn like a couple locals do. otherwise pick an overcast day, get in early or late and look for fish sitting in the rock garden at the head of the pool or the tail of the pool. These are the biters, the ones suspended in the deep hole rarely take the fly in comparison to the ones in the rocks (but they can be had!). That was one of my hotspots although few would flyfish there for some reason (?)
The rapids below the Headworks should have a lot of spawning salmon in them right now and greaselining through the edges and tailouts has produced some very aggresive takes from summer runs hanging around. The Green has a good number of wild summer fish that may be part of the trucking effort over the Headworks, tributaries, or mainstem spawning that has been going on. People don't realize just how strong the spring native run is in the Green. Probably because they never open it. Well there are summer wild fish too.
Skipping those I can't talk about without getting blackballed... }>
I could go on and on... but the next big rain everything is going to EXPLODE!
Wish I were there, please keep the river flowing through my veins via your reports!
Had a great day today on my favorite Columbia trib.
( those who know which river keep quiet)
First pool 4 solid hookups 3 brought to hand. first 20" wild male.2nd 8lb hatchery hen. 3rd 6lb wild male beautifully colored. The 4th hookup was a heavy feeling fish. The 5th grab came from my second run no clue about the size or origin of the fish. Also played with a couple prespawn dark cohos throwing my fly to them then pulling it away before they got there I am so mean:O)
Also for the first time in my life I saw a steelhead actively feeding!! She was doing head and tail rises to little brown caddis. Of course all my trout stuff was a mile away in my truck. she wouldn't take a #8 peacock hilton.
It was a beautiful little wild hen about 24 inches. She rose about 3 dozen times and apparently didn't mine me watching form about 6 feet away. It was just a wonderful day all around.
There isn't an hour of the day when my mind doesn't wander onto a meandering river somewhere in the pacific northwest this time of year. To see the alders, aspens, cedars and firs lining the summer bleached stones reflecting into crisp fall flows surging timelessly over the shifting shadows of a boulder garden where who knows - a dozen chrome torpedos may lay.
I once explained fishing to my daughter as a chance to disregard all of the pretentious concrete-lined electronically enhanced socially driven posturing human whirlwind machine and take a moment, or a day to realize the miracle of this blue orb in the infinite expanse of a hostile universe. To spend time in a place like no other for an infinite distance going in infinite directions, a place we so seldom really (I mean REALLY) touch directly with our hands, souls, and senses - our own planet earth.
(well OK I didn't choose those same words, but the essence was the same)
Among the many beautiful places I've had the privilege to fish, none have bonded tighter to my soul than steelhead country.
I spend an inordinate amount of time in meetings at work. Luckily we have internet connections in every meeting room, even one of the cafeterias... and sometime in large meetings we use a 20 connection hub on the table!
It really does boost productivity, if there are things we need to update we do them right there - files we need to send someone, send it right there, etc. The alternative is to take an action item and run off to the next meeting, where you stack up more action items, etc.
course in between important discussions and tasks on-line, I get to take a peek at the board....
Just got back from a lousy weekend on buisness in Chicago, Yuk. Now my company is demanding me to work for two to three weeks a short distance from the Snake River! Last Fall it was the same. A little work a little fishing and so on and so on. I leave on Thursday morning, my girl friend is driving over with me to fish Snake River steelhead for the first time and my company is going to fly her back to Seattle on Monday. The following weekend Sinktip will be over doing a little work for his mom on the Idaho side and a little fishing for his soul on the Washington side. Please cry for us out here in the NW, life is so hard.
I will be renewing my efforts from last year to catch silvers on the fly. Not much luck last year. I have some new patterns for this year. Some fish in the Skagit have been reported at 20 lbs. These are huge silvers for any river system. Skagit fish usually run 6 to 8 lbs. with the occasional fish going 14. A 14 or 16 lb. fish on a 6wt. of any variety would be a kick but a 16 lb. silver would be a complete gas. They are the salmon with the same attitude as a steelhead. Belligerent.
I gotta tell ya, I enjoy catching a couple silvers for my annual fall Salmon BBQ's. I would not want a 14-16lb silver on a 6wt. 3yrs ago I got a 16-17lb buck on a 8wt rpl and got my A$$ kicked a 6wt would be in peices or the wild fish would be dead. This year I would like to get one on a two hander I think that would be a kick.